Planning and Organisation Support

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My Study Bar

MyStudyBar is a tool which helps overcome problems that students commonly experience with studying, reading and writing. The tool consists of a set of portable open source and freeware applications, assembled into one convenient package. Easy to install, simple to use, handy and effective, MyStudyBar provides comprehensive learning support at the desktop, where it is needed. It can be downloaded for free from

Features of MyStudyBar

MyStudyBar puts a whole range of individual and essential tools at your fingertips. Together, these have been designed to support the complete study cycle from research, planning and structuring to getting across a written or spoken message. MyStudyBar has 6 sections; each has a drop down menu offering personal choice, flexibility and independent learning, particularly for those learners who require additional strategies to support their learning. With over 15 apps to choose from, it is a great study aid.

The MyStudyBar collection and numerous tutorials can be downloaded from the Regional Support Centre Scotland website at

Features of MyStudyBar

Planning and Organisation Support

XMind (Similar to Inspiration and Kidspiration)

XMind is mind mapping program, similar to Inspiration, Mind Manager and Mind Genius. XMind can help individuals who think, plan and learn visually. Mind mapping can be a useful way to plan ideas, essays or projects and to help organise your thoughts in a visual way.

Mozilla Sunbird Calendar

Individuals who have organisational and/or memory difficulties and like to see information presented in a visual and colourful way. Mozilla Sunbird is a stand-alone portable calendar. You can use it to plan your day, week, month, tasks and appointments.

HOTT Notes

Hott Notes is a free 'sticky notes' reminder program. You can place notes on your desktop, reminding you of important events every time you use the computer. Hott Notes have a simple, yet pleasant interface. Choose any colour, font, or translucency level for your notes. Also, create and use themes.

Reading Support

T-Bar – Screen Masking

T-bar is a coloured screen masking/ruler. Individuals who prefer to use an alternative font and background colour to the Windows default.


Individuals who prefer to use an alternative font and background colour to the Windows default.


Vu-Bar is an on-screen, slotted ruler similar to the ClaroRead’s Screen Ruler. Vu-Bar can help individuals who find it difficult to read large amounts of text and would benefit from reading one or more lines at a time. Some readers have difficulty with large amounts of text on a page. Vu-bar can help with this, because it is similar to placing a ruler over the lines of text in a document. You can either scroll or move pages up and down, or click and drag Vu-Bar to place it over the text to be read. You can use Vu-Bar for reading web pages, emails and documents.


ssOverlay is screen masking program. ssOverlay can help individuals who find it easier to read information on a computer with a colour overlay or screen masking. ssOverlay can also help to reduce screen glare on older monitors.

Writing Support


LetMeType is a word prediction programme that predicts single words or phrases in a range of applications. LetMeType benefits individuals who require additional help with spelling and/or word recognition, particularly with longer complex words. LetMeType will also benefit individuals who have a mobility difficulty and find it difficult to input text or are slow typists.

Lingoes Talking Dictionary

Lingoes is an easy-to-use talking dictionary. Lingoes can help individuals with literacy or language support needs.


Balabolka is a text-to-speech program that can import a wide range of text-based files, read them aloud, highlight words as they are read, and convert text to speech, e.g.,

Balabolka is for individuals who find it helpful to read and listen to text. Balabolka can also help those for whom English is not their first language.

Tiny Spell

Occasionally you need to check spelling in an application that does not include a spelling checker and you don't want to launch your word processor just for that. This is when tinySpell becomes handy. It is a small utility that allows you to easily and quickly check and correct the spelling in any Windows application. tinySpell can watch your typing on the fly and alert you whenever it detects a misspelled word. It can also check the spelling of text that you copy to the clipboard. tinySpell installs itself in the system tray for easy access.

Rapid Typing

This free typing tutor teaches you how to touch-type. The on-screen display lets you keep your eyes on the monitor and off your keyboard as you work your way through the lessons.


Virtual Magnifying Glass 3.4

This program shows a magnifying glass lens that follows the mouse movement. You can move the lens around the screen to view magnification of any screen area. Virtual Magnifying Glass can benefit visually impaired students.

Sonar – Cursor ring

The sonar cursor ring software provides an expanded ring around the mouse pointer. Can assist tudents who have visual difficulty locating the pointer.


Thunder can help individuals who have a visual impairment. Thunder can also help individuals who are dyslexic and prefer to hear information read to them. Thunder is a screen reading program. This means that Thunder will read information on your screen, for example menus, icons, etc. Thunder can be particularly beneficial for blind and visually impaired learners who require information on a computer screen to be read to them.

ORATO Screen Reader

A straight forward text to speech application. All text input is carried out through the clipboard. Settings allow Orato to read either on demand or automatically when new text is added to the clipboard. Other options will display the text if required, with highlighting of the word or sentence being spoken.

Study Bar Applications Page Doug Piper D/STLA

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